The Role of a Local Paralegal Association and the Benefits of Joining One

  • 03 Apr 2013 10:25 PM
    Message # 1259087
    Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    The Role of a Local Paralegal Association and the Benefits of Joining One

    By: ParalegalEdu

    It's well known that national paralegal associations serve as professional advocacy groups that work to promote and improve the paralegal profession throughout the U.S. By helping members stay current on the latest industry developments, professional associations with a national membership-base help facilitative discussions on the issues that have captured the attention of paralegals and other legal professionals from coast to coast.

    The function and importance of these well-known national paralegal associations is clear. However, joining a smaller, New York-based association with a local sphere of influence has its own unique rewards. By becoming part of New York's professional paralegal community, you’ll be able to better capitalize on opportunities for collaboration and communication with local legal professionals and policy makers.

    Opening Doors for Employment

    Just because you have a paralegal degree, it doesn't entitle you a job. Local paralegal associations often sponsor seminars, meetings, and workshops, while also serving as think tanks concerned with New York state policy and other regional issues. These types of association-sponsored events draw legal talent from area firms. Meet and greets are commonplace, as are roundtable discussions that would bring you face to face with local paralegals and attorneys. Not only does this allow you to learn from the best and brightest in and around New York, but you may also find yourself developing meaningful professional relationships with these local legal professionals.

    Since New York law firms often seek members of local paralegal associations when sourcing new talent, a little elbow rubbing can go a long way in helping to bridge formal paralegal training with on-the-job experience. It is also common for paralegal professional associations to maintain local job banks and offer job referral services for members.

    Opportunities for Peer Networking

    As a professional in the legal industry, you've likely learned that who you know is nearly as important as what you know. Networking with other paralegals particularly those with a significant amount of experience can help distill the knowledge gained from years of experience into a single conversation. Maybe you'd like to be able to turn to an experienced member for words of wisdom while reflecting upon the path your career is taking, or perhaps you'd like to talk to a peer in the same area of specialization for advice on how to best promote yourself among New York's law firms.

    Networking with other paralegals in New York provides endless opportunities for professional and personal growth, it even gives you the opportunity to be a leader in your industry. The collective strength and camaraderie that comes from being part of a real community of legal professionals is the very essence of these local associations.

    Reporting on the Issues Most Relevant to You

    Paralegal associations disseminate information through monthly journals, blogs and educational articles. An editorial board made up of paralegals typically ensures the timeliness and relevance of the information being published. Given the dynamic nature of the legal system, the need to stay up to date on the latest information is crucial, to say the least. While a national paralegal association may provide its members with breaking news from across the country, a local association would focus on providing the news most relevant to what's going on around you.

    New York-based paralegal associations not only provide you with local legislative updates, but they also often detail how these changes affect the way you secure employment and perform your job from day to day. For example, if you're just getting started and looking at how to become a paralegal in New York, you're much more likely to find a local organization presenting the information you need in a comprehensive manner, not to mention that you're going to be a lot more interested in a local perspective on the matter.

    National associations like NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations) among others, have a finger on the pulse of legislative changes and other industry-related news at the national level. Since these organizations also provide opportunities for credentialing and continuing education, you'll find they serve an important purpose regardless of your location. However, smaller, New York-based paralegal associations bring something to the table that the larger, national organizations just can't compete with: advocacy, opportunity and fidelity within a local professional community.

    Last modified: 28 May 2018 11:49 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

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